Friday, February 1, 2013

February......It's such a "SWEET" month !!!

    Wow guys, do you believe it's February already?  Now the days will start to get longer.....YAY!.....and before you know it, we'll start to see signs of spring!  ( I might be pushin' it a little.)  Now, don't get me wrong....I've loved some of the blustery, snowy days we've had recently.  It reminds me of home!  Actually, this is nothin' compared to what we used to get in upstate N.Y.  The lake effect snow from Lake Ontario could really pack a punch!!  But, honestly, I liked that it made everything sort of slow down a bit.  I liked that you saw all your neighbors outside, doing the same thing........shoveling themselves out!  We're talking 5-6' snowbanks folks!!  But it gave everyone an excuse, if they needed one, to stay inside, all cozy and warm, and relax with their family (after the shoveling was done, of course).
    O.K., enough of my reminiscing; on to my plans for February.  This is quite a special and celebratory month, at least at my house.  You may not get too excited about the presidents' birthdays, but since I happen to share mine with old Abe Lincoln, the 12th is kind of special to me.  My next to youngest son, Brady, was born on the 17th, so obviously that demands a celebration.  And, let's not forget the 14th...... Valentine's Day..... the day of LOVE!!

    As I thought about this month and all of its "specialness", I could my posts this month express that "specialness"?  How could they express the celebration and love that's in the air?  Well, how about a month of DESSERTS? And since, as I've mentioned in a previous post, I have a deep and long-standing relationship with chocolate, how about all chocolate desserts?  Makes perfect sense to me!  I mean, what's one of the best ways you can celebrate a birthday.....yours or someone else's? Chocolate.  And ....Valentine's Day?.....well, it goes without Chocolate!  So, that settles it!  In all of February's posts I will share Chocolate Dessert Recipes.  ( I'm getting excited just thinking about it! )  I hope you'll be stopping by to share in the celebration and get in on the goodies.  I'll do my best to mix it up a bit....cake, cookies, candy,etc. 

    Well, I'm gonna run now.  I'll leave you to imagine all the chocolatey goodness that's coming.  As for me......I've got to figure out how to step up the old work-out routine over the next few weeks!  See you soon!  





  1. I was wondering what you would recommend as a romantic dinner for Valentine's Day.... romantic, but also possible for a poor college student to make (though, I do have access to a full kitchen). thanks!

    1. Joann@The Italian Next DoorFebruary 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Well, I do a lot of cooking/baking and am always trying new things, but when it comes to Valentine's Day, I usually find myself staying with something very simple. My husband loves steak, so many times that will be on the menu. As a college student, that might seem beyond the budget, but, if you check your local grocery store, you might be able to find a couple nice steaks in the "manager's special" section of the meat case for not too much money. A less expensive option would be some nice roasted chicken thighs with some fresh herbs. To go with that....potatoes in some form is always good...and not expensive. You could go with the simplest baked potatoes, or bake them and then scoop out the flesh, mix it with cheese, butter, sour cream, and herbs, etc. and re-stuff...delicious and a little fancier. Or, I have a recipe on the blog for Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic that is delicious and only uses 4 ingredients and salt and pepper. A simple salad is always good or some easy roasted vegetables....we love asparagus. For dessert you could make some chocolate truffles (Chocolate is a must for me)Just take equal parts nice chocolate and heavy cream and melt gently together. Then chill and form into balls. Roll them in cocoa powder or anything else you want. And the classic chocolate-dipped strawberries is always delicious. Well, hope this was helpful. I'd love to hear about what you decide to make for your dinner. Have fun!